Sunday, 10 April 2016

Top 3: Favourite Things From Eddie the Eagle (2016)

© 20th Century Fox | Source: Montreal Gazette

Michael Edwards - better know as Eddie the Eagle - is one of those people whose life story makes for great movie material. As the first ski jumper to represent Britain in the Winter Olympics, he came in last in both the 70m and 90m competitions in Calgary in 1988, but managed to garner a whole bunch of fans and a reputation based on perseverance and sportive spirit. 

And, almost 30 years later, there finally is a movie about him out in cinemas. Starring Taron Egerton as the flying sportsman who hides his lack of skill behind a big heart and an unswerving determination, and Hugh Jackman as his washed-up trainer Bronson Peary, Eddie the Eagle is a sweet and uplifting underdog tale that is bound to warm the cockles of your heart.

Squuls and Rina watched the film last week. But instead of giving you a broad review, we'd like to get to the gist of things. So here are our respective Top 3s of our favourite things from Eddie the Eagle.


3. Eddie's Mom

We all know moms are the best. They give great hugs, tell you how to dress weather appropriately, and are there for you no matter what. But none more so than Eddie Edward's mom. From early on she is very supportive of her seemingly non-athletic son's dream of participating in the Olympics and, more importantly, she takes him seriously. The Olympic committee is embarrassed to be associated with Eddie in any way. Mr. Edwards is grumpy and trying to get Eddie to grow up and give up his dreams, but Eddie's mom is constantly finding new ways to circumvent her husband's disapproval and to finance each new shot Eddie takes at making it to the Olympics somehow. She cancels holidays, new cars, and even fends of the bailiff all so Eddie can see those five rings in person. When Eddie the Eagle finally gets to soar, she could not be more proud. Even though he doesn't bring home any medals, her son did what he set out to do and became a crowd favorite in the process. Mrs. Edwards' spirits are embodied in her "I am Eddie's Mom" sweater she proudly wears for anyone to see.

2. Hugh Jackman's Jump from 90 Meters

© 20th Century Fox | Source: | Unfortunately there are no clips or stills available, yet, but we'll add them asap 
The most over the top, ridiculous scene of Eddie The Eagle just had to make it into my Top 3. There was no other option. Hugh Jackman plays drunken snow groomer and failed ski jumping talent Bronson Peary. One night after having one too many at the pub and being ridiculed by the Norwegian coach, he decides to take the plunge from that big-ass 90m ski jumping hill - in jeans and a shirt with rolled up sleeves, without protection or helmet. On top of the hill, Peary gets in position and gets a serious look on his face, like it's high noon and he's getting ready for a duel. And what self respecting cowboy would go into that without a lit cigarette tugged into the corner of his mouth? Cue the cheesy 80s motivational music and we are good to go. A close-up of Hugh Jackman's face that feels like dangerous Wolverine and steam emitting cho-cho train all in one takes us down that hill. On the way he casually spits out the cigarette and finally lands perfectly. The spectators in party mode stare in wonderment at the all too suave drunk that they thought they'd seen the last of. You know, just your regular kitsch spectacle intermission you didn't really know you needed until you saw it.

1. The Norwegian Ski Jumping Team

© 20th Century Fox | Source:
Truly, these Scandinavian guys are the highlight of the movie! When Eddie travels to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to start his training as a ski jumper, he first encounters the Norwegian ski jumping team. Immediately they start to make fun of that slightly chubby British dude, who thinks he can learn how to jump just like that. I mean, they are arrogant as fuck and walk around like they own the place when really... What the hell are they even doing there?! The setting is the Garmisch ski jumping hill, yet all you see is Norwegians: Intimidating Eddie on the hill, naked in the sauna (not that I objected to seeing that), beating up a drunk Hugh Jackman at the local pub - they're everywhere and they're hilarious! Their accents, overconfidence, and perfect athlete physiques are so over the top you cannot not love them. And really, when it counts, their hearts are in the right place. The Norwegian team and coach are actually impressed that Eddie made it to the Olympics (even more so when they learn he only started jumping a year ago) and are happy for the way Eddie the Eagle shows bravery and true Olympic spirit in Calgary.


3.  A Jumper in Jumpers
© 20th Century Fox
Throughout the film, Eddie sports quite a large number of diverse woolly jumpers. Not only does this evoke 80s fashion in all its (often) questionable glory, no, it also makes me happy. I've always had a thing for these kind of pullovers, with their colourful patterns and cozy-cuddly texture. There's just something about them that screams nostalgia, snow and winter holidays just as much as "Hey! I'm here, and I'm taking pride in my granny's knitting needle skills." And Eddie does, indeed, wear those clothes with pride and grace. But - as you can see from the picture above - he's learnt from the best since Mama Edwards certainly knows how to rock a sweater in her own right. If you feel like designing your very own personal virtual Eddie Edwards spirit sweater, just hop over here and let your creativity run wild.

2.  The Groovy Training Montage

Back in 2009, (500) Days of Summer showed us that every great scene can become even greater by adding the Hall & Oats song "You Make My Dreams" to it. Now, Eddie the Eagle put this universal wisdom to good use and endowed its training montage with the tune. Everyone who's read my review of the Rocky franchise already knows that I'm a sucker for good training montages. They're uplifting, full of underdog spirit and, often times, groovy as hell. As a sports movie, Eddie the Eagle needed one of those sequences, of course. And while watching Eddie master his balance and train his telemark landing is great, it's even greater when Hall & Oats is playing in the background.

1.  That Welshman in the Lead

I know, I know, I'm going for the obvious choice here by gushing over the lead actor. But as someone who wasn't entirely sold on Taron Egerton's charisma in Kingsman: The Secret Service, I'm happy to say that he completely won me over in Eddie the Eagle. His transformation into Edwards is strong on a visual level, but succeeds especially when it comes to delivering sincere emotions. He makes you laugh with and cheer for Eddie, and turns him into a man full of heart and dedication. He endows him with quirks, cuteness and an endearing naivete, but also with a winsome inner strength and an unshakable drive to fulfill his dreams. In a film about the power of the underdog spirit, Egerton's portrayal is key - and he delivers perfectly.

Have you watched Eddie the Eagle? What did you like best about the film?

No comments:

Post a Comment